Former Vice President and now Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden came under fire on Thursday, Dec. 5, for calling an Iowa man a “damn liar,” “fat,” “sedentary” and more importantly “too old to vote for me” after being accused of giving his son Hunter a free job at a Ukrainian gas company to gain access to the Obama administration.
“You’re a damn liar, and that’s not true,” the 77-year-old Biden snarled back at the man in protest during his campaign event in New Hampton, Iowa, before challenging the elderly man to a match of “strength, endurance and intelligence,” CNBC reports.
“I’m not sedentary,” Biden fumed at the man as adult voters and their children watched. “You want to check my shape on, let’s do push ups together, let’s run, let’s do whatever you want to do, let’s take an IQ test.”
Symone Sanders, a Biden spokeswoman, later argued that Biden had said, “look, facts,” instead of “look, fat,” despite audio records of the remark clearly proving otherwise.
The storm of insults from Biden came following a question the man had asked him during his campaign.
“I got a question I want you to answer,” said the man, before pointing out that Biden did not have the “mental faculties” that he did when he was “30 years ago.”
“You … sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company that he had no experience with gas or nothing in order to get access for [Barack Obama]…” the man said before he was cut off by Biden.
“You’re a damn liar, man!” Biden shot back. “That’s not true and no one has ever said that. No one has proved that.”
When the elderly man explained that he “didn’t say [Biden was] doing anything wrong,” the former vice president was already fuming.
“You said I set up my son to work in an oil company. Isn’t that what you said? Get your words straight, Jack,” Biden said, before telling the man that he didn’t want to get into an argument with him and calling him “fat.”
But the elderly man, who identified himself as Merle Gorman, was not one to back down to Biden’s challenges.
“I’m positive 90% of the people there didn’t know about his son working on the board in Ukraine. I wanted it brought out there,” the 83-year-old said of Hunter Biden, according to an exclusive report by the New York Post after the campaign event. “If it educated them a little bit, so be it. I’m glad it happened.”
“The exchange speaks for itself,” Gorman continued. “He didn’t have the guts to explain the situation, and that’s what I wanted.”
Gorman, a Marine Corps veteran and now a retired farmer, said he had gone to the event because it was only a few blocks away from where he lives, and felt the need to ask about Hunter’s job in Ukraine after hearing the other questions.
“All the others were softball questions, they might as well have been asking him what color the chandelier was in the vice president’s office,” Gorman said. “I wish he had explained in a decent tone of voice why he got his son in that position over there and in my opinion he had no business whatsoever sticking his nose over there.”
Biden’s barrage of insults at the elderly man was also met with immediate backlash as Twitter users bombarded the former vice president with fierce criticism.
“If this is how he responds to q’s from someone who thinks Trump’s guilty, how is he going to make it through a general election? Some Malarky!” Twitter user Batya Ungar-Sargon said in a Dec. 5 tweet.
“Joe Biden fat shaming. Pathetic,” a tweet by Frances (@frances0707) wrote.
“What’s interesting is Biden calling him fat wasn’t a slip of the tongue, earlier in the exchange he had looked down at the voters stomach and called him sedentary,” a tweet user by Matt Whitlock (@mattdiswhitlock) said.